When looking for talent, the job market is reluctant to think of adults over 45; in general, they prefer young people. Generation X has difficulty finding work (people born between 1965 and 1980).
Society has changed, the average lifespan has increased, and so have the working lives of people. Plus, like it or not, we’re all going to get old. We must change the idea that a person over 50 or 60 can no longer give to business life.
In work environments, we need to think about the skills that we can benefit from across generations. People of Generation X are people over 40 or 50 with a career in the labor market, prepared not only academically but, mainly, in human relations, a life experience that the most eminent of young professionals do has not. They know how to get by politically within an organization and quickly perceive what they want, what they need, where the other is looking to go, they know how to listen and they understand that they have to adapt to new ones rules or, if not, they disappear.
In the workplace, age discrimination is revealed in searches, usually targeting young professionals. When Gen X applicants come forward, they are told they are “overqualified for the job” …
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Ageism Report, “Age discrimination refers to stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) directed at people based on their age. It should be noted that this “discrimination” also extends to minors; It manifests itself both in people and institutions, and harms many areas of life: work, private, health, among others. The same report claims that “age discrimination contributes to poverty and financial insecurity among older people, and a recent estimate shows that it costs society billions of dollars”.
How to promote an inclusive and respectful, win-win organizational culture
Some organizations “surround” the oldest employee, he finds himself without work and extra-work activities – or camaraderie – a vicious circle is established from which it is very difficult to escape. As a result, this employee is not well informed; So when you can participate, you won’t add value like before. This marginalization has effects on the physical and mental health of this relegated person. Insecurities, fears, feelings of anger towards others, anxiety, sadness, stress begin to emerge, which causes them to isolate themselves more, and the vicious circle is accentuated. Gradually, these situations result in less favorable performance evaluations and, ultimately, justified dismissals.
Today, leaders must realize that they are the protagonists in setting up new foundations for an inclusive and respectful organizational culture, to build teams made up of people with different abilities and professionals of all ages. Some recommendations to promote this new way of life at work:
Draw up the generational map of the company. Bring down the generational groups that make up my black and white organization, what are their skills, what plans do we have for them. On the other hand, to determine if the policy of wages, social benefits, promotions, as well as the form of recruitment, favors this inclusion. Foster inclusion and intergenerational participation in teams. Exchange spaces are created, very enriching for the team and for the company. Examine general HR policy (salaries, benefits, promotions, retirement). When was it designed? Does this correspond to what is happening today? What is the impact on the overall workforce and team building? This policy must make it possible to attract and retain valuable talents, to put them at ease and motivated, useful and to develop their capacities to the maximum. Stimulate lifelong learning. In the third decade of the new millennium, it is essential to foster active and agile “learning organizations” that constantly adapt to new challenges. That older people with experience in the company can teach the younger ones and in turn they can teach the use of new technologies or methods to older employees. Be flexible. Be open-minded to new ways of thinking and working – depending on the dynamics of each sector that can be changed – for example: less strict hours, home office, new workspaces. Think of a board of directors. They may be people with a retirement age limit or managing the re-entry of retired talents who know the market, the job, and have a lot to bring to the teams. Recruit in a spirit of inclusion and diversity. Train those who are responsible for finding and recruiting new employees in the parameters of inclusion and diversity, according to the current company. Study where and how to look for new talent, what kind of language to use, etc.